‘Don’t bother buying anything nice until your kids move out’. Have you ever heard that? I have (a lot) and I’m kind of sick of it. I think you can and should have things that make you happy to look at, be around, and use in your home. So go buy yourself something nice for Mother’s Day, why don’t you ;)
When Uncommon Goods offered to send me some ‘nice’ things, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to chat with you about styling a ‘nice’ bookcase when you have little ones under foot. So let me introduce you to my 5 tips for having a nice bookcase (or shelf or console or whatever) while living with kids:
- Give them the ‘reachable’ part of the shelves for their storage. I know some families have a ‘no toys in the living room’ policy- but we’re not that family. We are working on having a playroom but for now it works better for us to have the kids toys in the living room instead of their bedrooms (they’re way too likely to spend the night playing and not sleeping!). SO we picked up some nice baskets to corral all their blocks, cars, and trains.
- And here comes the opposite… put nice things where they can reach them and teach them not to wreck them. This is pretty much impossible when they’re 1 year old but by 2 they should be able to listen to those directions. My kids know what plants are, they know not to tear them apart. They know what decorations are and they know they’re not toys. They love to make me new decorations and often choose a special toy to have as a ‘decoration’ on they’re nightstand. They totally get it and there was never a screaming match over it.
- That said, keep things that are totally precious to you out of reach. Luckily, especially when kids are little- there’s still a lot of places you can display those precious or irreplaceable things. I don’t have much that falls into this catergory, but our anniversary is coming up so who knows I might score a gift that is! *hint hint*
- Choose decor pieces that are hard to break. The third shelf on this bookcase is totally reachable by my kids now. They know that their stuff is on the other shelves though. But I don’t want to be shouting every time they reach up there, and I’m sure you don’t want to panic every time your kids reach for your pretty shelf/console/table. Even on the upper shelves I chose pieces that wouldn’t smash if they got knocked over while someone was swinging a broom around (from experience). The buck head is actually a game and isn’t glass (although it looks like it!) and the lightbox is totally rad- but not smashable.
- Last but not least, space becomes super precious when you have kids and along comes all of their STUFF. So this tip is twofold:
- Fill your shelves with nice but also useful things. All those books you’re reading- even if they’re not that attractive, turn them backwards for a nice display. Use pretty boxes to corral things (say crayons or game boys) that you don’t want your kids to get into all the time, but you want handy. I know that you have enough stuff you’re hiding from your kids in your closets, so keep the things you’re using handy. If it’s pretty- great display them (like my collection of home decor books), if it’s not- disguise it (like our decks of cards and small board games that are hiding in that pretty white box).
- But don’t fill your shelves with too much crap. Space is at a premium but if you cram it- it will look like you have no space- and that isn’t stylin’. This one is the hardest for me… every time I make something new or get a new [insert random candle/vase/plant here], it goes on my shelf until I decide what I can remove to make space for it.
So those are my five tips on having a stylin’ bookcase with kids in the house. Have anything to add? How do you manage having ‘nice things’ with kids around? Now that I’ve convinced you (I’m sure) to have nice things around your kids… what are you going to pull out of storage or head out and buy yourself?
PS. This post was sponsored by Uncommon Goods, but as always- all opinions are my own. I wouldn’t share something I don’t love. You should probably know that they have mad sustainability practices too. So you can feel good about spoiling yourself ;)